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'Hollyoaks' to tackle Gender Dysphoria

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Jasmine Costello from Hollyoaks

© Lime Pictures

Hollyoaks producers are to tackle of one of only remaining taboos in soapland as a new member of the Costello clan will suffer from Gender Identity Disorder (GID).

Soaps newcomer Victoria Atkin, 23, will take on the role of Jasmine Costello, who arrives in the village having spent the summer at a camp in America. While Heidi's (Kim Tiddy) delighted to have her daughter back home, it quickly transpires that she is hiding a huge secret.

Soon after returning to the family fold, Jasmine's clandestine double life is revealed when her male alter ego Jason emerges as a prominent and overbearing part of her world.

GID - or Gender Dysphoria as it is also known - is when a person is born as one sex but has a desperate desire to be the other, dressing up and acting like the opposite sex in the hope that it will become reality.

Jasmine's journey will highlight the mental trauma, physical disgust and ongoing frustration of a boy trapped in a girl's body, as well as the effects that her condition has on those around her.

Jasmine and Jason Costello from Hollyoaks

© Lime Pictures


Left: Victoria as Jasmine - Right: Victoria as Jason

Series producer Paul Marquess said of the storyline: "I am proud that Hollyoaks is able to tackle the issue of GID and the effect the condition has on the families."

He continued: "Around one in 4,000 people in Britain are receiving medical help for Gender Dysphoria and if we can bring the issue to the forefront to help more young people identify and talk about the condition, then I believe that can only be a positive thing."

Commissioning editor for Channel 4 drama Roberto Troni added: "Hollyoaks has a track record for tackling challenging issues in a sensitive and intelligent way. The upcoming GID storyline should not only help raise awareness about the subject, but ask important questions about identity, sexuality and gender that teenagers face."

He added: "It will make for thought-provoking drama that will have a broad relevance to the Hollyoaks audience."

Atkin is currently filming at the soap's home in Liverpool and will make her screen debut at the beginning of August. Get the Inside Soap magazine on your iPhone or iPad

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